COVID-19 Pandemic May Force Some Cities to Reset Employee Benefits

By Jeff Chang

As the harsh realities of the coronavirus pandemic, along with its widespread impact on all aspects of daily life, continue to shock and numb us all, many cities have already been identified as “high risk” from a financial stability perspective by the California State Auditor. These employers, along with the hundreds of other public agencies facing severe downturns in revenue — while also facing unprecedented and unusual demands for public services — will be forced to examine all options for decreasing expenses and limiting liabilities. Continue reading

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Public Agency Furloughs & Distributions from Retirement Plans During COVID-19

By Jeff Chang

As many California public agencies are forced to furlough employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, questions arise as to how furloughs are treated for retirement plan distribution rules’ purposes. Continue reading

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Retirement Plan Changes During COVID-19: Steps Public Agencies Should Follow

By Jeff Chang

Although many employers plan to make changes to their retirement plans to take advantage of employee-friendly CARES Act provisions, public agencies should not blindly adopt recommended changes without thinking about the steps involved. Continue reading

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The CARES Act’s New Rules for Coronavirus-related Distributions from Governmental 457(b) Plans

By Jeff Chang

As expected, the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act contains provisions providing affected workers with greater, more tax-favored, access to portions of their retirement savings. Although it will be possible to make Coronavirus-related distributions from 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs and governmental 457(b)s, we are focusing here on governmental 457(b) plans. Continue reading

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Using 457(b) Unforeseeable Emergency Distributions During the Coronavirus Crisis

By Jeff Chang

During the Coronavirus emergency, it may make sense for state and local governments that sponsor 457(b) plans to allow their employees to access the monies in their accounts as unforeseeable emergency distributions. Not all governmental 457(b) plans provide for these types of distributions. However, it is a relatively easy process for a governmental 457(b) plan sponsor to amend its plan to activate this feature. Continue reading

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